The alarm woke me up. I pushed the blankets down and rubbed my eyes as I sat up. I let out a yawn and looked outside the window. It's a weekend yet I still use my alarm. Well, it's normal. I mean I want to wake up early even on weekends. Not like I have something productive to do every weekend. I live alone. My parents are somewhere outside the country, working and here I am, taking residence on apartments.
I climbed down the bed and went with my usual morning routine-drink milk, eat cereal, take a bath, dress in my most comfortable clothes and throw myself on the sofa, open my laptop and look for the newest bestselling books. I grabbed my glasses from the table beside the sofa and as I put it on, my forehead creased. Something was written on the wall behind the television. I placed my laptop beside me, stood up and approached it.
What was written there made my hair stand on end.
"I'm always watching you with these eyes, Akane. So I'd be happy if you'd only look at me, too."
I unconsciously took a step backward. Somehow, I don't feel alone in this apartment anymore. The words looked as if they were written in blood, what with the drippings and all. My heart started to pound hard in my chest I immediately looked around. The apartment was dark and it felt eerie, as if someone else's presence was here.
Who would've entered my apartment? How did the person enter my apartment?
I quickly went for the switch and turned all the lights on. When the place lit up, I felt a little safe. I went to my room and changed-I had to get out of here or else I wouldn't calm down. I just slid into my floral dress that didn't reach my knee. I grabbed my sling bag, laptop and waltzed out of my apartment. As I turned around to lock the door, I saw a shadow move. I hoped it was just my imagination.
I went to the nearby convenience store and decided to pass the time there. I opened my laptop again and went to browse some funny videos just to get my mind off of the writings on the wall of my apartment then realized I would still see that there when I get home. And that maybe, that shadow would still be there.
I squealed and jumped the moment I heard someone call me. As I turned around, I saw Aoi Jin and the rest of the people there looking at me with confusion. I quickly shrank on my seat and looked down, "I-I'm sorry. I didn't mean to scream..."
"Wow, you're not only weird but you also get surprised quite easily, huh." I didn't answer and remained looking down. From the corner of my eyes, I saw him sit beside me. He was wearing an apron over his black three-fourths and black jeans. "So, how are things, Mirai?"
Instead of answering his question, I asked him, "You work here?" before I could stop myself, the words had already slipped out. Gee, I'm really this desperate to get my mind off of that thing at the apartment.
He blinked, his blue eyes swirling with questions then he grinned, "Yeah. I do. It's one of my part time jobs."
"One of your part time jobs?" I arched a brow, "What are the others?"
He looked at me for a second before he smiled lopsidedly and leaned forward, "It may be just my imagination but are you actually interested in me, Akane?"
"No, I just want to get my mind off of something and if talking to you is gonna help me do that then I'd keep asking you questions without a care of what you would think," I answered in not less than a second without stopping to think to sugar coat my words.
He looked taken a back but then he laughed, "With a glance, you look harmless but when you talk you actually are a frank kid."
"Kid?" I frowned, "You don't have the right to call me a kid."
"Oh yes I do. You look younger than me. I'm already seventeen. You look like you're still fourteen."
I snorted, "You're a kid too, then."
"Huh?" his brows pulled together, "What do you-" then he'd laughed, "Okay, you're smart. I had no idea we were of the same age."
"Yeah, me neither."
I hadn't noticed how comfortable I was in talking with Aoi Jin. Usually, when it's someone I don't know, I'm not this talkative. There's something about him that makes me feel comfortable talking to him. I don't feel nervous or different. I feel...normal.
"So let's get back to my question earlier," he'd said, shifting on his seat. "How are things?"
The writings crossed my mind but I immediately shrugged it off, "Normal." He'd nodded and was about to say something when his co-worker had called him, "Jin! You can hit on girls after your shift!"
Some laughed and I saw his face turning beet red, "I wasn't hitting on her, idiots!" then he turned to me and forced a smile, "I'm sorry about that. Will you be here for long?"
"Yeah, I think so."
"How about you wait for me until my shift is over? Then we can hang out."
I looked at him and couldn't help but smile. Just what I need. "Alright."
"Okay. Just call me if you need something, yeah?" then he'd patted my head and walked towards the counter. Just as he did, a costumer came in and he'd turned and smiled, "Welcome~!"
Maybe I shouldn't really judge a book by its cover. Aoi Jin looks pretty harmless.
I went back to surfing on my laptop and tumbled upon some really funny videos. I hadn't noticed the time until I felt Aoi Jin pat me on the shoulder. I looked up at him and blinked, "What?"
Jin looked surprised. "What do you mean what? My shift had already ended."
"R-Really?" I immediately looked at the bottom right corner of my laptop where the time was and saw that it was already four in the afternoon. I looked up at him again, "I think I skipped lunch."
"You don't say," he jested.
I frowned, "If you're just gonna jest then-"
"C'mon, let's grab ourselves some lunch," he'd said, shutting my laptop close.
I gasped, "How dare you! I wasn't done watching yet!"
"Watch those corny videos later. Let's grab some lunch, I'm hungry." As I stood up, I saw his full attire. He was wearing black, alright. He wore black three-fourths paired with his black jeans and grey sneakers. His bagpack slung on his right shoulder and his piercings glinting at me. He looked at me and I saw his blue eyes twinkle as he smiled, "Let's go?"
I just frowned at him as he took my laptop and started walking outside. We had our lunch and dinner at the nearest restaurant. I was surprised as to how much he could actually eat. We also talked with him cracking jokes and I found out some things about him.
Like me, his family's away, working. He has two siblings but they live with their grandparents at the Kansai district. I told him how I loved the accent there and he agreed but he liked the Fukui accent more. He chose to work there at the convenience store because it was near to where he was residing at. I asked him if he resided at the same apartment as I did and to my dismay, he said he wasn't but the apartment's near to his.
He also told me that a lot of people mistake him for a delinquent because of the way he dressed. He couldn't blame them, he'd said. Ever since he was a kid, there was always something about him that ticked people off he'd suddenly found himself getting into a fight.
"So you are a delinquent," I pointed out, sipping my soda.
"No," he leaned back on the chair and grinned. "I'm a hero."
"You don't do that to me."
"You don't pretend you agree when you don't." Then he leaned forward and flicked my nose, "That's mean."
"Ow!" I rubbed my nose and stuck out my tongue at him. I glanced at the wall clock of the restaurant and saw that it was already past seven. I looked at him and sighed, "It's about time I go home."
"What?" he looked over his shoulder-at the wall clock and then back at me, "But it's still early!" I shot him a don't-kid-with-me look and he'd laughed, "Okay, okay. Calm down. C'mon, let me walk you home."
"I don't really need anyone to walk me home. I can handle myself."
"You wouldn't know how crazy thugs are until you'd meet them, little miss," he'd said, pulling me up by pulling the strap of my sling bag. "C'mon, c'mon already."
I laughed as I stood up and we'd went out of the restaurant. It was definitely the first time I felt this comfortable with someone-much more a guy. We stopped in-front of the apartment and I looked at him and smiled, "Thanks for today. I know you weren't trying to cheer me up but I cheered up."
The light from the lamp post was dim and it only lit up the top of his head, making the colour of his eyes appear as if they're glowing. In his blue eyes, the light was illuminated. He grinned, reached for my head and ruffled my hair, "That's good to hear. I'll see you in school then, Akane?"
I nodded, "Yeah, see you in school too, Aoi Jin." Then I frowned, "And you better stop ruffling my hair." As I turned around and ascended the stairs, I heard him laugh. When I'd stopped on the door to my apartment, he said, "That's your room?"
I turned around and nodded, "Yeah. Bye!"
He waved his hand before he'd walked away.
I turned to the door again and as I inserted the keys into the doorknob, it felt heavy my hands trembled. The cold breeze that had swept on my knee climbed up my spine and I could feel how cold my hands were. My heart started pounding hard in my chest I had to breathe in and out to remain calm.
It's okay, there's nothing to be scared of. You get inside your apartment, wipe those writings off the wall, lock the doors and the windows and then head to bed, alright? Okay. Good. That's what you should do.
I closed my eyes and breathed deep and as I twisted the doorknob, I prepared myself for whatever it was that I was to see.
I swung the door open. It was dark-exactly how I left it. I walked inside, not bothering to close the door. I ran my hand through the wall, looking for the switch and when I found it, flicked it on and what I saw made my heart stop.
It was a mess. The leather couch and sofas were torn, the things were turned upside down, shattered pieces of mirrors and other figurines on the floor and most of all, my knees trembled as I raised my hands to cover my mouth. There were more writings on the wall:
I told you to look only at me.
Those eyes are mine.
You are mine.
Why would you talk to someone else when I'm here?
Who told you you can do whatever you want?
Akane Mirai, I'm coming for you.
I let out an ear-piercing scream as I tumbled my way out of the apartment and when I'd bumped into someone and I felt the person's hands on my shoulders, my tears fell one after another I couldn't stop it. I struggled to break free, "No! No! Please, don't!!! I'm sorry, I'm sorry!!! Please don't!!!"
"Whoa, Akane! What's wrong with you???"
When I'd heard that familiar voice, I looked up and with blurry eyes, I saw Aoi Jin. "Jin..." seeing his face, I immediately calmed down that I fainted.